3:59PM EST: The United States Geological Survey reported THAT a 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Virginia at 1:51 p.m.
Laguardia and JFK airports, which were shut down after the quake, have resumed service, MSNBC reports. The passenger rail service AMTRAK reports that it is reducing the speed of trains between Baltimore and Washington following the quake.
UPDATE 3:40PM EST: The U.S. Capitol Police reports that the Washington Monument has been damaged after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the nation’s capital.
There are also reports that the Washington Monument is “tilting” from ABC News affiliate WABC.
UPDATE 3:11PM EST: Most of downtown D.C. has since been evacuated, including the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and other buildings. Pictures in the Capitol building reportedly fell from the wall and workers panicked and ran to the exits, apparently fearing a 9/11-style attack. Workers were told not to re-enter the buildings.
Marine helicopters were seen hovering above the D.C, and there were reports that the Washington Monument may be tilting.
Buildings in New York City shook briefly and the FBI building was evacuated. Control towers at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Airport were also evacuated. Evacuations were felt as north as Canada.
UPDATE 2:59PM EST: MSNBC reports that the quake has caused flighs delays at a number of airports, including JFK; Newark, Washington National; Washington Dulles, and Philadelphia.
UPDATE 2:55PM EST: Verizon, ATT, Sprint and other wireless carriers are all experiencing technical problems. It appears that their systems are overloaded as people scramble to use their mobile devices. Verizon says they have no damage to their network, and the issue is simply an overload.
UPDATE 2:50PM EST: The earthquake had no immediate apparent effect on subways and other forms of mass transit in the Tri-State Area. The Long Island Rail Road issued a statement saying their service was unaffected and running on or close to schedule. New Jersey Transit issued no alerts.
UPDATE 2:42PM EST: Fox News reports that two nuclear reactors near the epicenter have been taken off line.
UPDATE 2:35PM EST: The Washington Post quotes a a USGS official as saying, “We would certainly expect aftershocks.” The USGS suggests that the quake is the largest to originate in Virginia since May 31, 1897.
UPDATE 2:30PM EST: In New York, City Hall was also evacuated after a tremor was felt. The 26-story federal courthouse in lower Manhattan began swaying as hundreds of people were seen leaving the building.
UPDATE 2:27PM EST: JFK Airport has ben temporarily closed as a result of the quake.
UPDATE 2:26PM EST: The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was 3.7 miles deep and struck near Mineral, Va., a city 83 miles from Washington, D.C.
UPDATE 2:20PM EST: The tremors were felt as far away as Martha’s Vineyard, Detroit and parts of Ohio. That’s a really wide area.
UPDATE 2:14PM EST: The U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and other buildings were evacuated. Pictures in the Capitol building reportedly fell from the walls.
UPDATE 2:03PM EST: Reuters reports a 6.2 magnitude earthquake centered near Mineral, Va., rocked the mid-Atlantic states and was felt as far north at Manhattan and as far south as North Carolina. The Associated Press reports that the Pentagon is being evacuated.
FIRST REPORT 1:55PM EST: The entire NYC are is currently shaking due to an earthquake recorded as a 6.0.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)